Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 15 (1900)


Lt 64, 1900

Steed, Brother and Sister [D.]

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

May 2, 1900

Portions of this letter are published in UL 136; 5BC 1135. +Note

Dear Brother and Sister Steed:

Your letter came to us in the last mail. I read it with deep interest, and my heart went out to you in tenderness and sympathy. I have presented the matter before you, as it has been presented before me. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 1

Read the instruction given in the eighteen chapter of Matthew. There is nothing more positive than this in all the oracles of God; and yet God is dishonored and His cause marred by the doing of the wrongs pointed out in this chapter. These words are for you and for me and for all who claim to be disciples of the meek and lowly Jesus. He shows us the principles upon which we are to act in all cases and under all circumstances. There is to be no striving for the supremacy. Christ teaches that in His spiritual kingdom it is not position, not outward splendor or authority that constitutes greatness, but spiritual excellence manifested in true conversion. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 2

We are ever to be learners of Christ. He has invited us, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and” (in your own experience, as you partake of my spirit and principles) “ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30.] Christ’s yoke is a yoke of submission and obedience. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 3

When Christ was upon this earth, His glory was veiled by His humanity. But upon the mount of transfiguration that glory shone forth, its brightness flashing through humanity, while the Saviour conversed with heavenly visitants. Christ was glorified, and His disciples beheld as much of His glory as humanity could bear. God recognized His Son, and lifted Him above humanity to commune with Him. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 4

It is not enough for us to know and respect the words of the Scriptures. We must enter into the understanding of them, studying them earnestly, eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God. Christians will reveal the degree to which they do this by the healthiness of their spiritual character. We must know the practical application of the Word to our own individual character-building. We are to be holy temples, in which God can live and walk and work. Never must we strive to lift ourselves above the servants whom God has chosen to do His work and to honor His holy name. “All ye are brethren.” [Matthew 23:8.] Let us apply this Word to our individual selves, comparing Scripture with Scripture. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 5

In our daily lives, before our brethren and before the world, we are to be living interpreters of the Scriptures, doing honor to Christ by revealing His meekness and His lowliness of heart. Christ’s teachings are to be to us as the leaves of the tree of life. As we eat and digest the bread of life, we shall reveal a symmetrical character. By our unity, by esteeming others better than ourselves, we are to bear to the world a living testimony of the power of the truth. We are not to fear that unless we labor to be first, self will not be properly estimated. If men had higher and greater views of Christ, if they had greater confidence in Him and less confidence in themselves, their characters would be molded and fashioned after the divine likeness. When self is hid in Christ, the Saviour will appear as the One altogether lovely and the chiefest among ten thousand. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 6

When men submit entirely to God, eating the bread of life and drinking the water of salvation, they will grow up into Christ. Their characters are composed of that which the mind eats and drinks. Through the Word of life, which they receive and obey, they become partakers of the divine nature. Then their entire service is after the divine similitude, and Christ, not man, is exalted. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 7

Christ’s presence in a church is its life, its health, and its growth. Let every believer understand that to be esteemed by men is nothing, but to be commended by God is of real value. All who would be true Christians must learn that they must give up seeking to be the first, if they [would] obtain the favor and recognition of God. Those who have correct views of what constitutes true greatness will never contend for the supremacy. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 8

“The disciples came unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:1-4.] 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 9

This is Christ’s lesson for the soul He has purchased and ransomed by His own blood. He takes a deep interest even in the least and feeblest of His people, and regards that which is done for them as done for Himself. The angels of God, who have access to Him, and who are in constant communion with Him, are not ashamed, but glad and willing, to minister to the poor and needy—those most in need of their help. Then should not we, as servants of Christ, be willing to minister to those whom we suppose are inferior to ourselves? 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 10

My brother, I believe Jesus has presented to you correct views of yourself and of that which is objectionable in your character as a minister of God. If you see this and repent of it, you will give evidence by your words and actions that you are transformed by confessing your sin and forsaking that which has grieved the Spirit of God. The Lord will write pardon over against your name, and will permit you to serve Him in ministerial work. He will be to you a present help in every time of need if you will walk humbly before Him. Jesus longs to see the impress of His Holy Spirit on every child of God. He desires you to be perfect and entire, “wanting nothing.” [James 1:4.] 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 11

The Lord has mercifully pointed out to you the faults which need to be corrected. When these are seen and a reformation takes place, self will be hid with Christ in God, and in all your service nothing will be revealed but Jesus. Self is nothing, Christ is everything. Take up your work, relying not on yourself, but on Christ; and as you walk humbly before Him, He will make you a savor of life unto life. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 12

In time it will be seen that there are those who, though holding the first place as rulers and teachers in the visible church, have not put on Christ Jesus. The words, the spirit, and the character will develop. The greatest in the kingdom of God are those who know God and love Him, and who know Christ whom He hath sent, and love Him as they love God. This is the test of those who are chosen of God and precious. To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God is an unfailing evidence of true religion and sanctification of heart, life, and character. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 13

My brother, my sister, it is a great privilege to be invited by the greatest Teacher the world has ever known, “Come unto me.” “Learn of me.” [Matthew 11:28, 29.] He can give us the purest, highest instruction, instruction that is as enduring as eternity. Then learn of Christ His meekness and lowliness, and you will find rest unto your souls. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 14

I have written this letter this morning, being unable to sleep since half past two o’clock. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 15

In much love. 15LtMs, Lt 64, 1900, par. 16